Craziest (and not so Smart) Ways People Spend Money

When you win big amounts on the lottery of your choice, how will you spend money? Depending on the prize, you’ll probably buy a house, buy a car, pay off debts, and go on a vacation. Those are the usual choices of lottery winners. But, there are many crazy variations out there, and they deserve attention.

You Wouldn’t Think To Spend Money This Way

Let’s start with probably the most famous one, the Garbage man aka King of Chavs aka Michael Carroll. His nickname isn’t really flattering, but it was kind of inevitable since Carroll both worked as a garbage collector and spent some of the winnings on wrecking cars on a race track he built around his mansion.

He was only 19 years old when he won 9,7 million pounds in 2002, but became a celebrity in England due to his post-win behaviour. He spent money on parties, prostitutes, drugs and alcohol, often causing havoc in his neighbourhood in Norfolk. He eventually lost everything and was forced to sell the mansion, was caught stealing a sandwich and now works as a coal miner.

Reality Show and Recording Dreams

Racetrack and crack cocaine may be Carroll’s choice of spending money, but Jonathan Jay Vargas had other ideas. Coincidentally, Vargas was also only 19 years old when he won 35.3 million dollars on Powerball in 2008. His most famous investment was to create an all-female wrestling reality show called “Wrestlicious”. Have you ever heard of it? Well, that gives you an idea of how successful it was: it fell through in less than a year. Vargas is also broke now.

He wasn’t the only one who dreamed about making it in the entertainment business. Lara and Roger Griffiths will be remembered for spending a large amount of their 1.8 million pound win on recording and releasing a single. Roger spent a lot of money on it, including a huge chunk for a publicist and paid promotion. It sold 600 copies and the couple are now divorced and broke.

There is Hope After All

If you are into cannabis, you might be familiar with the story about how Bob Erb decided to spend his money. Erb was a generous man even before he won the lottery. He spent his life constantly donating small amounts of money to organizations and those in need, and continued to do the same after his 25 million dollar win in 2012.

In the first year after winning the lottery, he donated more than $8 million to different causes: from handing money to the homeless to paying dental work and even cars for neighbours and friends who couldn’t afford it. But this “community saint”, as people call him, has one special thing dear to his heart: he is a passionate marijuana user and he spent around $825.000 to help legalization possible.

There are a lot more weird spending stories circling around so be sure to stop by again to check out the rest of them. What would you spend your lottery money on? Let us know and don’t forget to play in the meantime.

You Have Already Won the Lottery, You Just Don’t know it yet

Are you an avid lotto player, but have never won the lottery? Well, there is a big chance you did win it, you just aren’t aware of it. Wouldn’t that be nice?

It sounds unbelievable, but it’s way more common than you think: there are millions and millions of unclaimed lottery money around the world each year. Yeah, you’ve read that right – each year.

All Of Those People Who Tragically Won The Lottery

Let’s just take a look at some recent stories from the US, and it will become clear very soon just how painfully big and often these “lost” winnings are. For instance, there was a story a month ago about $26 million jackpot that went unclaimed in California.

One unlucky winner had 180 days to claim its lottery win of 26 million dollars that has been won on November 14, 2020, but no one ever came forward. There was an alleged story though: workers at the place where the winning ticket was sold said one woman came in and said she had washed her winning ticket with the laundry, but she never even filled an official claim.

Then there’s a case of a one million Mega Millions ticket which expired this March after a year of waiting for its winner. Commenting on that story Gordon Medenica, Mega Millions lead director, also added that many people disregard side games many lotteries offer. He pointed out that people often only pay attention to the main prize, forgetting there is much more at play.

The Amounts are Crazy

But, let’s not stop here; let’s take a look at some numbers through the years (and ONLY for the two of the biggest US lotteries). For instance, there was $119 million that went unclaimed from Mega Millions and Powerball in 2002. $46 million unclaimed from Mega Millions in 2003, $77 million unclaimed from Powerball in 2011. Should we go on?

Don’t think that these scenarios are reserved just for Americans either. Australian lottery officials just released a call for all Aussies to check their lottery tickets. Apparently, there are currently 22 million in Australian dollars of unclaimed prizes dating back to 2015. And that’s just in first tier prizes.

Where Does the Money Go

As you can see, different lotteries have different sets of rules on how long you have until you can collect the prize, and while some will wait indefinitely for you, others will find their way into a redistribution of some sort. If your un-destined lottery win hasn’t been added to the next big jackpot, it is likely that it ended up in some charity, which isn’t that bad after all, you must admit. In the case of the Californian laundry lady, for instance, the money was donated to local public schools.

Now that you know how many people don’t know they’ve won the lottery, are you so sure you aren’t among them? Go check all of your secret ticket places, you might be surprised. If you don’t find anything though, don’t be discouraged, play some more today and create another chance for yourself. Just don’t forget to check your ticket afterwards!

Will Winning The Lottery Bring You Happiness?

We are humans, which means we crave things, including winning the lottery. And when we get what we craved for, we crave for some more, or do you believe you will finally be satisfied once that big win happens?

Our cravings can vary from person to person, and from craving to craving: sometimes we crave an emotion or condition and sometimes we crave a nice bowl of spaghetti. But when it comes to big things, like security and finances, all of us crave it, believing it will bring us happiness. But would winning the lottery really do so?

Human Psyche And Winning The Lottery

To answer that question, we have to dig deeper. Human psyche is still vastly unresearched, but there are a few points behavioral scientists agree on when they are trying to answer why we play lottery and what do we think that winning the lottery will do for us. First of all, it seems as though those of us who play are often notorious optimists.

Interestingly enough, the reason for that optimism comes from the fact that human brain simply isn’t capable to process lottery-sized odds. In other words, that means we will never be fully aware (at least in this point in evolution) how small our chances for winning the lottery are, which consequently makes us irreparable optimists (and also someone who has chances of winning the lottery).

Of course, when you are an optimist, that fact alone leads you to playing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will find happiness when you reach that goal you craved so much, in this case winning the lottery.

Because it’s the same with lottery as with everything else in life: it won’t bring you happiness, unless you are already happy, in a manner of speaking. Of course, we are talking long-term happiness in this case; nobody disputes that you would probably jump up and down in the exact moment of winning the lottery and be ecstatic in periods of that initial hype.

The Harsh Truth

So although that might sound harsh, we are here to speak the truth: there is no way any such external event can change you in the long run. And that is a fact confirmed through several studies. Sure, it can help you live more securely and debt-free, but don’t expect it to have some kind of a Midas touch, because when the initial thrill wares off, you’ll get accustomed to all of the new things and once again you’ll be the same you as before. You’ll still be you after winning the lottery, just with different sets of worries, unless you change your approach to life, if you think it needs changing. And what that includes is known only to you.

So basically, the verdict (and Catch-22) is this: don’t expect winning the lottery to bring you eternal happiness, and it certainly will. Also, don’t forget that there may be many cons against playing (and winning), but we’ll take a chance for a bit of luck (and happiness) over those cons every time.

Change your course today and start playing. Or the other way around.